HS interview Sote Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen: Due to the more severe coronavirus, Finland may soon have really difficult times ahead

Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (left) says in an interview with HS that employers should demand a negative test result from employees coming from abroad. At the same time, Pekonen proposes corona subsidies to be paid to Finns.

Social- and the Minister of Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (left) says that really bad times may soon come, though The coronavirus situation in Finland is Europe’s best and infection rates have been declining.

This is due to a sudden modification of the coronavirus that changed, for example Ireland in a few weeks coronavirus from a model country to a crisis country.

He argues that for some time to come, citizens will be able to be patient and strictly follow the advice of the authorities as well as the restrictions imposed by them.

In the process In this interview, Pekonen presents a number of significant new measures that both prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the impact of the epidemic on people’s lives.

“I guess that in the minds of citizens, the viral mutation isn’t particularly strong. Understandably, people want to see the situation better, but the spread of the mutation is quite different from this previous form of the virus, ”says Pekonen.

Government will negotiate new ones on Friday measures to prevent the large-scale spread of the new variant to Finland.

Pekonen says the most urgent action needs to be taken at the borders.

According to HS data, the government is even considering banning almost all non-Finnish commuter traffic and non-Finnish residents.

Pekonen says that he has not seen the proposal prepared by the Ministry of the Interior, but he also says that commuting should be restricted. This is because passenger testing is not possible, especially with the current number of passengers in shipping. About 30,000 people a week have arrived from Estonia to Helsinki by ship at the beginning of the year.

Pekosen the coronary viral control measures that fall within its area of ​​responsibility are not directly covered, but social security is included.

Pekonen is concerned that employees from Estonia, for example, do not take voluntary tests on board, even though tests are available.

“Many workers have a fear that they will lose their pay if the test result is positive and they will be quarantined without a livelihood. Not everyone who works in Finland is covered by Finnish social security. ”

This is especially true of construction workers from the Baltic countries and other parts of Eastern Europe.

Read more: The Construction Association demands mandatory corona tests for foreign workers – “Voluntary quarantine means nothing in our industry”

According to Pekonen, the government should consider how this fear could be alleviated. He proposes epidemic support, which was paid last spring to those who returned to Finland from abroad if they were in voluntary quarantine and therefore had to take unpaid leave from their work.

“We need to consider epidemic support for those in voluntary quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease in the workplace.”

“It’s unsustainable for people to go to workplaces and infect their co-workers and cause long chains of infection.”

He says public power has limited resources because the law does not force coercion. He appeals to employers.

“Employers have the opportunity to act responsibly and require foreign workers to pass a negative test result or to comply with quarantine.”

Pekonen also suggests that, in all employment relationships, the first day of illness would be paid, although this is not agreed in some collective agreements.

“The Employment Contracts Act belongs to the Minister of Labor Tuula Haatainen (sd) plot. I think that a temporary change should be made quickly to the Employment Contracts Act on the pay for the first day of illness, so that people do not go to work because of fear of losing their income, even if there are symptoms. ”

Pekonen also wants the government to continue to provide some form of support for families with children and the needy due to the coronavirus.

Government paid epidemic support in the spring to parents who stayed home to care for young children and in the fall to those receiving income support for epidemic compensation.

“These benefits do not necessarily have to be the same as before, as long as they take special account of families with children.”

He justifies this by a working group set up by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) with a recent report, according to which the coronavirus has aggravated the situation of families with children in particular.

According to Pekonen, the continuation of the increased protection part of unemployment insurance and the right of entrepreneurs to labor market support should also be considered if the interest rate crisis continues.

Pekosen believes that the government must now prepare for the worst with a clear plan of measures to prevent the spread of the new virus variant.

“In STM, the Minister of Family and Basic Services is responsible for the preparation of restrictive measures Krista in Kiuru (sd), but if there are signs of the virus spreading, I think that the means of spreading should be widely used throughout Finland, even if the situation is good in the region. ”

This would mean, among other things, a strong recommendation for telework, strict restrictions on contact teaching and hobbies throughout Finland.

“A strong telecommuting recommendation should be taken very seriously. This has clearly become a source of fatigue among both employees and employers. ”

Hospital districts distributed coronavirus with respect to three categories: basal, acceleration, and propagation.

According to the current situation, Pekonen’s proposal would mean a government defined in the corona strategy stricter restrictions in all other hospital districts than in the worst-spreading hospital districts in Hus, Kymenlaakso, Päijät-Häme, Kanta-Häme and Southwest Finland.

Does the STM envisage the possibility of introducing a curfew?

“I haven’t heard a debate about a curfew, but all means are possible if the situation goes bad. The situation may be quite bad if such powerful measures are taken. They were not in use even last spring. ”

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